A little while ago I wrote a post about my friend who is on her...maybe 5th round of IVF, now trying for a second. She's the one who had a successful pregnancy on her very last transfer of a meh embryo and has a beautiful healthy boy and has now been in the process of chasing number two for like, two years. She's the one who knocked herself out when she gave herself the trigger shot and was literally bleeding from the head the night before retrieval. Anyway. I mention her because we spoke today and after multiple IVFs that included things like fainting and head injuries, and doing TESE (sperm retrieval, put simply), and doing PGD testing (she miraculously has more than one good looking embryo, which is a first for her), her doctor now wants to do a mock embryo transfer that includes a uterine biopsy. She called me to see what I thought and my initial reaction was F THAT. What more can they make her do and why is this necessary? She's done at least a half dozen transfers, why do all the meds just to biopsy and do it all over again? I'm no doctor but that seems insane to me. But she explained that 25% of the time transfers are done even when progesterone levels are not optimal, so this test apparently helps to determine when it's best to transfer. "I don't want to leave any stone unturned," she said over the phone, and I understood.
There's a delicate balance between advocating for yourself, trusting your gut and your body and listening to the experts/doctors. It's a REALLY hard balance because a lot of this...stuff isn't an exact science. There's magic and instinct and luck and miracles and chaos involved. And a lot of fear. And fear is one of the hardest emotional aspects to combat. Combat is the wrong word. Fear is one of the hardest emotional aspects to deal with and manage. Because we can't just eliminate the fears we have--of doing one thing or not doing it. Of if something will work or it won't. If we should stay with the same doctor or move on... the list is literally endless. I think the key is trying to sit with and decide what you need to do to feel like you've done everything you can to help the outcome and then letting go. Doing everything you can can and does mean very different things to different people, so that part is personal. It isn't about a right or a wrong decision, it's about what is going to make you feel the most ok you can.
My friend is trying to figure out what to do. Sound familiar? So much time on IF Island is spent trying to "figure out what to do." And it's all so much effort. I've gotten to know so many different people with so many different stories. So many different "journeys" and detours along the path to parenthood. I've gotten to know people with autoimmune issues who have to do SOOO much to get and stay pregnant and people with other issues, like diabetes, who have to manage their blood levels to such an exact science it's almost a full time job. People who are filling out giant packets of adoption paperwork after years of infertility-- I could go on and on. I think I just wanted to send a shout out-- send some love and acknowledgement to everyone out there who is doing so much to grow their family. I say grow rather than create because I think family can be defined in many ways.